Summer is often a tricky time for people in recovery. While the blue skies and higher temps provide many opportunities for new activities, they can also be triggering to individuals trying to stay sober.
Why Is Summer Triggering?
Most people associate summer with happy memories of warmer weather, vacations, and time spent outdoors. However, for people in recovery, summer can be a triggering time.
There are many reasons why summer is triggering for people in recovery, including increased drinking and partying opportunities, routine changes, and the warm weather itself.
The longer days and warmer weather can lead to more social gatherings where alcohol is available, and the relaxed atmosphere of summer can make it easier to slip back into old drinking patterns.
Additionally, the change in routine that often comes with summer can disrupt a person’s sobriety. Travel plans, changes in work schedule, and family commitments can all be triggers for someone in early recovery.
Finally, the warm weather itself can be a trigger for people in recovery. The heat can lead to increased anxiety and irritability, making it difficult to resist temptation.
For these reasons, summer can be a challenging time for people in recovery. However, by being prepared and knowing what to expect, people in recovery can stay on track and enjoy the summer months.
Summer Sobriety 101
Having a plan for navigating some everyday summer situations can make all the difference in your success. Here are six ways to prepare for the transition to summer:
#1 Stay busy: If you’re sitting around with nothing to do, you’re more likely to drink or use. Make sure to fill your schedule with enjoyable sober activities. It is important to stay busy during the summer months to maintain sobriety. Staying active helps to distract from cravings and provides a sense of purpose. Many activities can be enjoyed during the summer, such as hiking, swimming, and attending summer festivals. It is also essential to connect with other people in recovery during the summer months. Many sober living facilities offer summer programs that provide social and recreational activities for residents. These programs can help people in recovery stay connected and supported during the summer months.
#2 Create a support network: It’s essential to have people you can rely on when you’re feeling tempted to drink. Let your friends and family know that you’re in recovery and ask them for their support. The summertime can be a difficult season for people in recovery, so it is vital to create a support network. This network includes fellow recovering individuals, sober mentors, or even mental health professionals.
#3 Avoid triggers: There may be certain people, places, or things that trigger your urge to drink or use. Do your best to avoid these triggers or, if that’s not possible, healthily deal with them. Triggers can be anything from the heat to being around alcohol. It is essential to be aware of your triggers and have a plan to avoid them.
#4 Be honest with yourself: If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Acknowledge your feelings and find healthy ways to deal with them instead of turning to alcohol or drugs. It’s also important to be honest about your risks and triggers. If you’re unsure if you can handle certain summer activities without drinking, staying home is better than putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Similarly, it’s okay to say no to invitations if you’re worried about being around others who are drinking. The most important thing is to stay safe and sober.
# 5 Find other coping mechanisms: In addition to staying busy and avoiding triggers, it’s crucial to find other ways to cope with difficult emotions. Some helpful coping mechanisms include exercise, journaling, and meditation. There are several activities that can help you stay sober during the summer months. For example, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and boost your mood. Spending time outdoors can also help you stay connected to nature and reduce cravings. Additionally, attending support group meetings or therapy sessions can give you the accountability and encouragement you need to keep on track. With a little planning and effort, you can successfully navigate summer in recovery and maintain your sobriety.
#5 Seek professional help: Summer vacation can lead to increased stress and isolation, as people have more free time to dwell on negative thoughts. If you cannot sustain sobriety in summer, you must seek help. Skilled counselors and therapists can provide support and guidance, helping people stay on track with their recovery goals. In addition, recovery programs can provide structure and community, making it easier to resist temptation.
With the right plan and support, summer can be a time of growth and healing instead of relapse.
Summer can be a triggering time for people in recovery for many reasons. The long days and warm weather can lead to increased cravings for substances, as people feel like they need something to help them cool down or relax. The social nature of summertime can also be problematic, as there are more opportunities to drink or use drugs at BBQs, pool parties, and other gatherings. All of these factors can make it hard for people in recovery to stay sober, but there are ways to manage triggers and stay on track. By staying aware of potential triggers, attending summer events with sober companions, and having an emergency plan in place, people in recovery can enjoy a safe and pleasurable summer. We can help you stay sober this summer. For more information on sustaining sobriety in summer, call Restoration Recovery Center at (888) 290-0925.